Girltelligence, ASB celebrate women

Robbie Gray and Grace Tseng

The Girltelligence Executive Team hosts a panel with female PUSD officials in honor of Women’s History, March 23. They discussed the pressures placed on women in the workplace and how to deal with discrimination. Panelists (from left to right): Gowri Ramaprasad (10); Sarah Dean (12); Nitya Baratam (11); Sydney Hubbard (12); Shawntanet Jara, Director of Equality and Improvement at PUSD; Tina Ziegler, Principal; Carol Osborne, Associate Superintendent; Darshana Patel, San Diego County School Boards Association President; Christine Paik, Chief Communications Officer for PUSD. Photo by Cara Tran.

Growing up, Sydney Hubbard (12) always felt that there weren’t enough places where she could find support as a woman. It was only two years ago that Hubbard really found a community with the app, Girltelligence. After becoming a member of the leadership board for this app, Hubbard felt inspired to create a supportive environment on campus dedicated to empowering women when she realized safe spaces for women were lacking on campus.
Thus, after receiving approval from ASB to partake in planning Women’s History Month, Westview’s Girtelligence club founder and president Hubbard said she felt excited to have a school-sponsored celebration of women’s history month.
“It’s just a way for us to celebrate how far we’ve come and to show that there’s still much more to do for gender equality,” Hubbard said.
Girltelligence is a club run by Hubbard, Nitya Baratam (11), and Sarah Dean (12) that focuses on women’s rights and is currently focusing on women’s reproductive health. The fact that the very normal process that human bodies go through is so stigmatized is problematic because it makes women feel like society has more control over their bodies than they do themselves, Hubbard said. Hubbard said that while the club is called Girltelligence, any person is allowed to join.
“If you want to learn about gender equality, joining our club is a good way to start,” Hubbard said. “It’s important to show that gender equality is for everyone. It benefits everyone. We’re supporting women, but that in no way just involves women.”
With the club’s focus on reproductive health and in honor of Women’s History Month, Girltelligence hosted a menstrual product drive for people in need.
“The menstrual product drive for the women’s shelter will hopefully be continued every year, because I think that it’s such a great thing with such enormous impact,” Hubbard said.
When Girltelligence is not planning events for Women’s History Month, the club hosts weekly meetings to educate others about feminism. In celebration of Women’s History Month, ASB and Girltelligence teamed up to host various events in the quad, March 21-23. On March 21, a carnival featured the softball, lacrosse, gymnastics, and cross country teams and brought awareness to the female student-athletes on campus. To wrap up the events, the Girtelligence executive board held a panel with female teachers, administrators and students, March 23.
“For me, it was really valuable to hear about all of the ways that these women seek support and empower themselves,” Hubbard said about the panel. “It was really impactful hearing about how they look up [to] the mentors who help them succeed. It’s inspiring to see that we can help each other as a community and pursue fulfillment. According to Nash, the Women’s History Month celebrations this year have been better publicized than in previous years.
“In previous years the most we usually do is make an Instagram post,” Nash said. “I really wanted to [celebrate] Women’s History Month because I don’t think women and female-empowering groups on campus get the recognition they deserve.”
In founding Girltelligence, Hubbard said she hopes to help students be more aware of gender discrimination.
“People should learn more about gender equality and apply it in their own life.” Hubbard said. “You individually make a difference. So I think with the idea of gender equality you have the ability to make other people feel empowered, and you should take that with you.”